James was a regular at The Blind Pig bar. He knew the bartender, Mark, well, and they always had a good conversation.
One evening, James sat down at the bar and ordered a Dry Martini.
"Make it dirty, with a twist," he said.
Mark nodded and started making the drink. James watched him work, fascinated by the ritual.
Mark measured out 1.5 ounces of dry gin and 1.5 ounces of dry vermouth. He added a dash of orange bitters and stirred everything together with ice. Then he strained the mixture into a chilled martini glass and garnished it with a twist of lemon peel.
Mark handed the drink to James, and James took a sip.
"Perfect," he said.
James took another sip and savored the flavor of the martini. The gin was crisp and clean, the vermouth added a subtle complexity, and the orange bitters added a hint of citrus.
James thought about his life as he sipped his martini. He was content with his career, his friends, and his family. He had everything he could ever want.
James thought about his parents, who had both passed away a few years ago. They had been great parents, and he missed them very much.
James also thought about his best friend, Michael. Michael had been there for him through thick and thin. He was the most loyal friend a man could ask for.
James raised his glass in a toast.
"To my parents," he said. "And to Michael, the best friend a man could ask for."